What is Sports Hypnosis?
Hypnosis can be described as a state of inner concentration where ones attention is extremely focused. A good analogy would be that of a magnifying glass being used to focus on a candle flame thereby making it more intense. In the same way our minds become more powerful when we are in a deep state of concentration and focus. In Sports this is extremely important, because the mind commands the body.
Hypnosis is the same thing as being in a trance state. Everyone has experienced a trance but the term "hypnosis" is not used to describe it. Being so absorbed in thought while reading, in a movie or conversation, that we fail to notice what is happening around us are examples of being in a state of trance. While we were in this very focused state of attention and tuning out the events around us, our unconscious mind, another level of consciousness, took over.
Applying these principles of creating a focused state of attention to enhance mental power, sports hypnosis, is the process whereby the therapist will induce a state where athletes can zone in and bring about the experiences they want to create. This process of mental imagery is referred to as "In State Learning". Another important aspect of Sports Hypnosis is the process of presenting "ideas" or "suggestions" in a state of deep focus and attention that are compatible with want they want to achieve or get rid of. The compatibility between ones desires and the suggestions made by the therapist strengthen the impact the suggestions have on the mind.
Other important elements that are used in Sports Hypnosis include:
- Developing the ability to create a relaxed state when needed
- Using Anchoring techniques with your equipment (golf club, tennis racquet, helmet, goggles, straps, etc.) to create positive neuroassociations to what you want to achieve or for focus and concentration control.
- Creating a "tunnel vision" that will help block outside distractions and thoughts.
- Learning Self Hypnosis.
Myths About Hypnosis
- Losing consiousness, not being in control: During Hypnosis you are in a concentrated and relaxed state and are always in control.
- Hypnosis is like being asleep: You do not fall asleep when you are in hypnosis. Brain activity during sleep differs from that of hypnosis.
- Hypnosis is like stage hypnosis and I will be dominated and surrender my will: Stage Hypnostist generally know what members in the audience are more prone to being open and willing to perform if the idea is suggested to them and would not respond to the suggestions if they were against them.
In essence hypnosis is something that people will do for themselves, a therapist applying hypnosis serves as a facilitator.
My Training in Hypnosis
I've received my training in Ericksonian Hypnosis and certification in Sports Hypnosis/ Peak Performance through the American Hypnosis Association and Hypnosis Motivation Institute.